What a Day & Simply Eight Review

Even though I did about a million little things that no one else would ever deem as productive, I feel like I conquered the world on Friday. I had no where to go for the first day in what seems like forever. I made a huge to-do list of everything I wanted to accomplish, and I’m proud to say I got every single thing done except 1! Life’s good. I won’t bore you with every little detail, but I will share some of the highlights.

  • I knocked out a couple of awesome workouts. In the morning I did a 30 minute Tara Stiles basic yoga flow DVD, along with my TurboFire routine for the day (40 minutes). Then towards the evening I did the Tone It Up sunset workout (10 minutes) and a different Tara Stiles yoga routine (30 minutes). I felt amazing going to bed last night. I love not being rushed through my workouts and allowing myself the opportunity to actually enjoy them. However, this is not what I look like when I do yoga.

  • I literally finished half of my goals for Melissa’s organization challenge. A couple of days ago I talked about my 8 tasks I want to complete in April, and I’m proud to say I finished four of them yesterday! I went through all my clothes and switched out winter for summer and go rid of things I don’t wear/don’t fit, organized my Pinterest boards, went through and edited my blog reader, and created a password/username document. Yay! Hopefully Luke will help me clean out my car later this weekend….. Smile with tongue out

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  • I responded to all of my e-mails, caught up on blog reading, completed a few online trainings for work, and did some social media stuff. All random little things, but things that make me feel much calmer once they are completed.

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  • I deep cleaned my room/bathroom, had the windows open all day, and now I feel like I live in the cleanest, most dust-free place ever.

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  • I made a list of all the things I need to do for my LA trip next week! You’ll hear more about that in the next few days…. Smile

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I also want to talk about something exciting I received in the mail yesterday! I was contacted by a local (WOOOOO!) company, Simply Eight, a couple of weeks ago. Basically, they’ve gone back to the basics and developed cookies and granola bars that use 8 or less ingredients. I think this is a really awesome quote from their website:

“Our foods are inspired by our grandmothers’ kitchens.”

I love that. Who doesn’t love fresh cookies from grandma’s house?! Anyway, it’s so wonderful that they’re not using nasty chemicals or ingredients that nobody knows how to pronounce. I was pumped when I was asked to sample some of their products! I received:

simply8

  • real chocolate chip cookies
  • real peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
  • real chocolate chip chewy granola bars
  • real peanut butter chocolate chip chewy granola bars

All I have to say is this: delicious. You guys, seriously. This stuff is amazing. The cookies actually are made with eggs; I love that. And get this: THEY’RE CHEWY. My mind is blown. My favorite product?

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Are you surprised? I’m not. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad combination of chocolate and peanut butter, but this is one of the best. You can actually taste the ingredients in all of the products and can just tell you’re eating real food. Here’s the nutrition stats for the PB chocolate granola bar, just so you can see for yourself.

I really want to thank Simply Eight for reaching out to me and letting me know about their wonderful company. I will definitely be looking for these products at grocery stores in the near future and hope they are able to expand to reach some of you guys in the near future! I also hope they develop some more products, because this is such an amazing idea. Americans really could benefit from the “less is more” attitude. Check out their website for more info and to order products online!

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Alright, I’m starting to feel like the book I’m using for the Spice Up Your Life challenge knows me way too well. Last week I challenged you guys to admit 5 things to yourself that you wouldn’t typically say. That was actually easy for me to do. I think it’s important to be honest with yourself! That’s kinda what this whole challenge is about. Just guess what page I opened up to this week….

59. Escape, for the day, weekend, or week.

How perfect is that with my upcoming LA trip?! I can check that off my list with no problem. I’ll be giving you guys a breakdown of everything we’re doing before we leave. Just in case you want to come to Cali and find me Smile with tongue out But anyway, I challenge you to get a day away, too! Even if you’re not actually going anywhere, just take a day (at least!) for yourself. You deserve it. Do what you love and forget the rest for a little while.

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Last but not least, my friend Erica wanted me to share this with you guys. I died.

Enjoy<3

Spice Up Your Life, Week 7

I am so happy right now. It’s super early on Saturday morning, no one else in my house is awake, and I’m drinking coffee from my Keurig that I can make literally without even getting out of bed. I have a really busy day, but busy with good things:

  • 8:30 am: yoga class
  • 9:45 am: going out to breakfast with Luke
  • 11:15 am – 1:15 pm: training a couple of clients
  • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: church Easter party for the kids
  • 4:00 pm: going somewhere new & fun with Luke!

I’m not necessarily happy because of my day filled with good stuff, but because of a couple realizations I’ve had over the last few days. (1) I am 100% positive, without a doubt, that having kids and working in the fitness industry is what I am supposed to do with my life. (2) I work better with a schedule, hence why I made up a generic exercise schedule that I can mix and match and alter a little bit every week. (3) Living on my own is going to solve a lot of the problems I’ve been having lately; this will be happening sooner than I thought…..*hint hint* (4) 17 days from right now I will be on my way to Los Angeles with my wonderful boyfriend!

I also realized that I did a great job at my challenge from last week of creating a sacred space. I started out the week doing Deepak Chopra’s meditation challenge, but got bored of it after a few days. Instead, I turned to doing some Tara Stiles meditation routines each morning. Typically the night before I will pull up a couple of her videos (7-ish minutes each) on my iPad so they are easily accessible to me in the morning. I wake up, drink my coffee and read a few blogs, do my routines, and then get ready for the day. It really gives me a solid mindset for the day. I love it. Anyway, I just ranted about really boring parts of my life. My bad. Where I was heading with this…..

My sacred space is the floor in my room. Yeah, I’m weird. Over it. I love rolling my yoga mat out between my bed and the window and being able to see just a little bit of light through the cracks in my blinds each morning. I love foam rolling. I love laying on my stomach while on my computer. I am always on the floor! So, there’s a little random tidbit about my life. Don’t judge me Smile with tongue out Did you find a “sacred space” for yourself?

Moving on to this week’s challenge!

84. Plan and prepare a seduction dinner.

LOL. That’s all I have to say about that. This book, I swear. It’s got some weird challenges in here. But definitely things that will put us out of our comfort zones! Once again, I’m going to switch around this challenge a bit and say to just simply make dinner for someone! I know that personally I have fallen into this pattern of just kinda eating what is in front of me. I snack like there’s no tomorrow and am just really impatient when it comes to food. I miss cooking and need to get back into it. Once again, will be a lot easier when I get my own place….very, very soon! More details coming soon Smile

This video from Jenna Marbles pretty much describes my eating habits lately perfectly:

“I don’t just eat the popcorn; I EAT the popcorn.” LOL. Yes! I adore her.

Here’s what I’m going to do this week for the challenge:”

  • Have a serious Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s grocery shopping experience on Thursday. And my goal for this trip? Only buy what is on my list. We shall see how that goes.
  • Make a good meal for Luke! What do ya want babe? Better let me know now or you know it’s gonna be some “healthy crap you don’t like.” Smile
  • Make actual meals for myself. I’m super good at assembling things, but really bad at actually incorporating them into one dish. Practice makes perfect.

Who are you going to have a good meal with this week??

Spice Up Your Life, Week 6

Hi friends! I had an amazing day yesterday. Like really freaking good. I woke up early to watch some more Tara Stiles videos on her youtube channel. Gosh, I love that woman. She makes me so happy. I just want to be her best friend, but there’s no way I’m cool enough for that. Then I was at the gym for a little while working, followed up by running a few errands, and babysitting all afternoon. Kids make me smile. Then Luke and I had a date night at Cheeseburger in Paradise, where I got a Calypso Salad, containing avocado, strawberries, pineapples, mandarin oranges, apples, honey roasted almonds, and red onion and a Skinny Margarita. The margarita was fantastic; literally tasted just like tequila and lime (just how I like it!). I may or may not have convinced Luke to split some key lime pie with me as well. We also saw The Call, which was really scary and made me never want to pump gas ever again. I am not happy about that movie; not happy at all. It broke my heart.

I do have a question for you guys. When Luke and I go to LA next month, we’re not sure if we’re going to rent a car or take cabs everywhere we go. We’ve been trying to compare prices and they’re honestly quite similar. Anyone have any suggestions on if you think it would be better to drive ourselves or get cabs? A pro of our own car would definitely be that we could drive along the coast and not have to worry about waiting for a car. A con would be that we both suck at directions and LA is confusing as it is. Thoughts, suggestions?

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Last week in the Spice Up Your Life Challenge I asked you guys to say no to someone. How did it go? I have found that a common theme among many of us is that we tend to say yes to everything. I know that I am a huge people pleaser and always try to keep my promises, yet I don’t take care of or keep promises I make to myself. Gotta work on that! I did really good with the challenge this week. Here’s what I did to say no to others and make a little bit of time for myself:

  • didn’t work any hours behind the desk at the gym (not that I had time to anyway; hopefully I will next week because I actually really enjoy it!)
  • said no to my inner voice telling me not to and bought a set of Tara Stiles yoga DVD’s online
  • took my time responding to e-mails instead of feeling the need to do it immediately
  • said no to my inner voice telling me to workout and took a rest week full of simple yoga routines

Small changes, but definitely made a difference in my happiness levels. I’m hoping to continue this “free” mindset my week next week and see if things can increase even more. I’m starting to realize more and more every day how much I love yoga. I always kinda knew I was into it, but taking time for myself to relax AND work my body/mind this week was perfection. This may be a new path for me. Yoga helps me to connect to myself and make better decisions throughout my day. So yay for that!

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Challenge for this week:

40. Create a sacred space.

Um, wow. What weird timing to get this goal when I’ve just been preaching about the benefits of yoga and meditation. The book describes this goal of more of a legit sacred space. I say to find somewhere you feel comfortable and develop it into a happy place where you can go whenever need be. Examples of where this could be:

  • In your car. Even though I have terrible road rage, when I don’t put any music on in my car and have my commute to just think and be alone, I am ridiculously happy. In the mornings I listen to the news, but coming home at night I usually sit in silence. It gives me a chance to reflect on myself and my day and to also just have some quiet time after being around loud people all day.
  • In your bedroom. This is where we all do the most relaxing thing ever: sleep. Your bedroom should be a place you can go to reflect, write, watch TV, relax, workout, stretch, read, ANYTHING. I do pretty much everything in my room, but that very well may be because I still live with my parents. It will be interesting to see if that changes once I move out. In my opinion, your bedroom should be your happy place. Anything goes.
  • In your mind. As long as you know how to block out the rest of the world and concentrate on yourself, all you need is your mind. I’m working on this one. I would love to be able to walk down a busy street and not be affected by others; just myself.

And here’s some ways to make that space sacred for you:

  • look forward to the time you get to spend there each day
  • fill it with things you love
  • only allow others there that benefit you!
  • associate positive thoughts with it

There are obviously many more places you could choose and ways to make it happy, but these are just the main ones I can think of right now. This week I am going to focus on transforming my mind into a place that is full of happiness for me. I’m going to try to get rid of all the negativity, worry, and rushing I feel on a regular basis and focus on relaxing, breathing, and knowing that I have complete control over my body.

Enjoy your weekend! Good luck to all the ladies running in the DC Rock N’ Roll half this weekend <3

Where is your sacred space?

Spice Up Your Life, Week 5

Last week I talked about conquering a fear. I was planning on running 6 miles without stopping. Did that happen? No. No way. Instead I ran 3 miles twice with a break in the middle for about 10 minutes of strength training. So I suppose I didn’t exactly succeed with that one, but I certainly pushed myself out of my comfort zone and did something I was terrified of. I really dislike running, but I want to love it. I don’t want to look like a dying animal after 2 miles anymore. I actually quite enjoy it outside, but don’t live in an area where it’s easy to do that. Frustration up the max.

I did have something really scary happen this week that I got through, so thank goodness for that. I tend to get myself worked up over things for nothing; definitely need to work on that!

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Goal for this week:

53. Tell Someone to Screw Off.

Well that’s not very nice, now is it?! I do think it’s essential once in a while (okay, at least once a day) though. I guess what I think ya’ll should do this week is to do what YOU want. Not what you think you should or what others think you should, but what you feel deep down in your heart is right for you in that moment. We get too caught up in “society” and the norms that we forget about what is really important to us.

So I challenge you to say no. I have a huge problem with that, so this week is gonna be difficult for me. Any time anyone tries to make plans with me, I say yes. I make time. I make time for anything and everything and leave no time for myself. So if someone asks me to go to coffee and all I really want is to stay home and watch the season finale of The Bachelor? No. If I’m asked to babysit and I already had plans that I don’t want to cancel? No. If I’m “supposed” to run my errands, get my cleaning done, and play catch-up and all I really want is to take a nap? No. I’m exhausting myself and I know it.

We need to all work on not being so nice! I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true. I have been listening to the Jillian Michaels podcasts continuously since I discovered them. She stresses in every single one to find the underlying problem that is causing you discomfort or unhappiness and get rid of it. Nip the problem in the source and fix it right there, rather than trying to take baby steps to figure out what’s bugging you. No. You know what the issues is. We usually just don’t want to admit it. She stresses to want to change. You have to have a reason for what you’re doing (or not doing) to succeed. I swear, I am in love with that woman. She’s brilliant. She says stuff we all already know, but never think of in a moment of conflict.

Okay, so this has turned into a total rant. Oops. Back to the challenge: telling someone no. Here’s what I’m going to do this week:

  • not making conversation just for the sake of making conversation and ending up being really awkward
  • no commitments other than what is already on my calendar for the week
  • giving myself 2 full hours to call potential PT clients
  • spending at least one night with Luke with no technology

I need to learn to say no in like, every aspect of my life. I feel like a child!

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On a random note, I got the Whole Foods salad bar TWICE this week. I am so darn happy about that lil fact right there. However, my wallet is not. Oh well. I want to live inside Whole Foods and people watch and drink their wine all day long please.

On another random note, I had a lemon Chobani for the first time yesterday. My new favorite flavor, by far. Even better when you add banana, berries, and roasted flaxseed. Yum yum yum.

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On an even more random note, this is totally me this week.

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Kay bye! <3

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Are you going to tell someone no this week?!

Spice Up Your Life, Week 2

Ready for a new challenge?!

happy babies

Last week we talked about de-cluttering your life and living with less. Here’s the progress I made:

  • I took everything out of all the cabinets in my bathroom and only put the things that I actually use back in. I literally threw out a full garbage bag of stuff. I was going to take a picture, and then I was embarrassed.
  • I went through all my magazines sitting in the corner of my room and ripped out the recipes and workouts I wanted and recycled the rest. I also went through all the stuff I already had ripped out and tossed anything I’m not interested in. Everything is in its’ own little place now and super easy to find.
  • I looked at every piece of clothing I own and used the guideline from the last post to donate, toss, and store them accordingly.
  • I looked at all the books I’ve accumulated over the years and donated one’s I don’t plan on reading again to the Salvation Army.

It definitely feels great to get rid of all those unnecessary things that I certainly don’t need in my life!

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This week’s challenge is……

71. Try High-Stakes Gambling

Happy Amy

HAHA! Let’s alter this one a bit, shall we? Instead of heading to a casino and blowing all our money or betting your savings account at blackjack, let’s drop this down to a bit of a smaller scale so we don’t ruin our lives. I am challenging YOU (and me!) to go out and buy a lottery ticket. I am also challenging you to buy one for a friend or family member! Can you imagine the amazing-ness if you bought a $1 lottery ticket for your mom and she won a significant amount of money? Pure joy. Plus, if we all partake in this, someone is bound to win SOMETHING! And then we’ll all be super happy (and jealous) for you. I’ll be crossing my fingers that you all win thousands of dollars. Smile

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Since that’s a really easy challenge, I’m giving you one more this week!:

45. Ask Someone Out

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The book obviously means this in a lovey-dovey way, but I’m challenging you to ask ANYONE out. Whether it’s a co-worker you’ve talked to a couple times, a best friend you’ve lost touch with, your significant other, or your grandma, I want you to reach out to someone in your life and ask them to do something with you. It can be as simple as asking someone that works in your office to grab a coffee on your lunch break or asking your boyfriend or girlfriend to go on a surprise day trip with you. I just want you to take the initiative to do something you wouldn’t usually do and make someone feel great about themselves in turn.

Here are a few excuses the book gives as to why people are afraid to ask other people out:

  • I’m too shy.
  • I’m afraid of rejection.
  • I lack confidence.
  • I’m afraid of rejection.
  • I feel too pushy.
  • I’m afraid of rejection.

Notice a pattern? Don’t let fear keep you from doing something that could turn out to be wonderful. This is a very small risk in the grand scheme of life, but small risks lead up to something huge!

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Here’s what I am going to do this week:

  • Buy a lottery ticket for myself and for Luke (babe, if you’re reading this act surprised).
  • Ask my friend and old college roommate Audrey to go see Identity Thief with me (again, if you’re reading this act surprised).

Good luck!!

 

What was your progress on the challenges from last week? What are you planning to do this week with your new challenges? Be specific!

Unusual Places

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how busy I deem my life to be. It’s really just not. I tend to “need” to make time for unnecessary activities, such as watching TV, exercising, catching up on reading blogs, and you’re going to laugh at this one, but doing my hair. I spend a lot of time doing things that don’t need to be done, when I could use that time wisely towards activities that actually matter. I also tend to rush through what I really do have to do in order to move on to the next time. In this process, I end up missing out on all the little things that are so beautiful in life. For example, the 4 year old I nanny for made all these pictures at school today and was so excited to show them to me. They’re obviously the work of a child and nothing super special, but to her, they’re just absolutely amazing. She is so proud of her work and obviously took a long time on them. It’s amazing to see her face light up when she talks about the simple snowman that she made on her paper. Also, the other day I was with the 2 year old at an outdoor mall. There were little seashells engraved into the sidewalk that she was absolutely fascinated with. I would never have noticed these if I was on my own, since I’m usually power-walking through the mall to get my shopping done as quickly as possible. In the words of some quote I heard forever ago that I’m sure you did too, “Take time to stop and smell the flowers.”

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I actually took that picture when I was in Italy!

 

Here are some of the unusual places that I have found beauty or love lately:

  • In all my friends I’ve been emailing lately. Whether they are blogging friends, friends from high school, or friends I have loved my whole life, I’ve been having some awesome conversations lately that just make my heart melt.
  • Driving to work listening to the radio each morning and hearing some of the funny, sad, sweet, or debatable issues that are brought up. Something about the fact that all the people calling in live in my area and all the diverse things going on here? I don’t know, I love it.
  • The positive response I’ve had from personal training clients. I have had nothing but good words so far. I’m obsessed.
  • The sick as a dog 2 year old I have cuddling on my chest right now. She may be coughing her brains out and getting snot all over me, but I just don’t care. She’s precious.
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    I think it’s really important to step back and think about all the beautiful things in your life, rather than what brings you down. What you focus on multiplies, so why not think about the good stuff? Seems like a good idea to me.

     

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    Here’s some food pictures for you today! I don’t take and/or post these as often as I would like, so I’ll try to get back into it more.

    Breakfast: mango Naked juice, whole wheat sandwich thin toasted with butter, and a pear

    mangotoast

    Snack: fruit salad

    fruit

    Lunch: grilled cheese (yes, with ketchup) and an un-pictures salad with romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, orange peppers, celery, and broccoli

    grilled cheese

    Snack: vanilla bean frozen yogurt with dark chocolate m&m’s

    fro yo

    Don’t know what dinner is going to be yet. I’m heading to the gym after work to train a client and get in a workout of my own in the form of a jazzercise class. I have lots of client training plans to work on tonight, since I have 5 sessions with new people coming up in the next week! Whew. I’m making good progress on the Spice Up Your Life challenge. Last night I went through my books and found the ones I want to donate to our local library, and the night before that I worked on getting my recipes and workouts in order which feels GREAT. Tonight the goal is to throw out stuff from my bathroom cabinets that I don’t use anymore. That will be quite a task.

     

    What is something beautiful from your day today?